Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Video Review: 'October Sky'

Posted on

October Sky

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG
Wide Release Date:
02/19/99
performer:
Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Jake Gyllenhaal
director:
Joe Johnston
distributor:
Universal
author:
Lewis Colick
genre:
Drama

We gave it a C

Duller than rocket science and more reliant on formulas, this unnaturally earnest ”inspirational” tale — a small sleeper hit in theaters last spring — re-creates the West Virginia adolescence of former NASA engineer Homer Hickam. We watch Hickam and his pallies, inspired by the Sputnik launch, overcome their town’s parochialism and build a little missile of their own. Director Joe Johnston, who charted a similar trajectory in The Rocketeer, mines a lode of period and genre clichés; Gyllenhaal seems too sophisticated to be an Appalachian youth; Laura Dern doesn’t have much screen time as a nurturing science teacher, but her hair looks terrific. C

Comments